This interesting surname of English origin is a topographical name deriving from the Old English pre 7th Century "neothera" meaning "lower" plus "clif", "cliff", hence "the dweller at the lower cliff". The surname dates back to the late 16th Century, (see below). Variations in the idiom of the spelling include Nethercliff, Nethercliffe, Neithercliff, Nethercleve, etc.. Samuell, son of John Nethercleve, was christened in 1605 in Kensington. Amioa Nethercliffe was christened at St. Martin-in-the-Fields, Westminster on May 18th 1615, and William, son of Thomas and Jane Netherclift, was christened at St. James Garlickhithe, London on May 10th 1640. One William Netherclift married Martha Jones on September 15th 1726 at St. Martin Outwich, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Elizabeth Nethercliff, which was dated 1594, St. Mary the Virgin, Aldermanbury, London, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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